Christian Maggio returns to training - but should he return as a starter?

Marco Luzzani

Word on the streets is that Christian Maggio is back on the pitch, although he trained separately today. It's the first time Maggio's been back in training since March 11, when he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on a collapsed lung.

Now a collapsed lung is just a bit serious. Considering this is Maggio - and we all know how much he loves to run - it's likely it'll still be a couple weeks before he's starting for Napoli.

But how concerned should we fans be, really, about missing Maggio for the run-in to the end of the season? Since Rafa Benítez arrived in Naples, Maggio, who'd already looked exhausted by the end of last season, hasn't been at his best. Sure, he's a former right back, but he'd moved on to wingback and that's where his talents lie. Now back as a fullback, Maggio managed a terrific game in the 3-0 win over Hellas Verona in January, but that's really the only time he's impressed this season.

Surprisingly, though, Napoli have managed to land themselves a decent replacement right back. Henrique joined up amidst little fanfare, a centerback that had impressed little since signing (and never playing) with Barcelona. But the 27-year-old has looked much better out wide than he has in central defense, and he's certainly less terrifying than Anthony Réveillère.

Alas, it's probably time for Maggio to move on - there are even rumors Walter Mazzarri wants him back at Inter. And while Henrique is not a good long-term option for a side that should be playing in the Champions League next season, he's proving himself able right now, and there's no reason that Maggio should be automatically given the slot back for the few remaining games of the season.

Fair? Or should the Italian have a chance to prove himself, especially given that the azzurri squad must be pinned down in two months?

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